We all agree on the facts: the national debt is closing in on $13 trillion and our fiscal practices have been irresponsible for years. With that starting point, we can all come to both an understanding of the gravity of the situation and the realization that difficult decisions and sacrifices will have to be made to get our economy back on track and restore the overall satisfaction of Americans to comfortable levels.
Unfortunately we don't all agree we have been "irresponsible for years." We have lots of politicians acting like the huge debt problem is some new issue. Every time times are good they want to give favors to their friends. And when times are bad they want to give favors to their friends. And we keep electing politicians that don't care about ruining the country so long as they can give their friends big amounts of cash favors. Until we grow up and realize we are selling out the future of our country by electing those they seek to put favors to the friends today above the interests of the country we will fall further and further into debt.
I am pretty cynical about the ability of us to vote for ethical, competent, intelligent leaders. Or for the type of people we elect to take sensible steps. I can be surprised though. The ability of the Clinton administration to pass a balance budget (even if you say that it wasn't really balanced given the funny accounting Washington uses it was still pretty amazingly good).
I would love to be wrong and see our politicians put the well being of the country 1st or even 3rd or 4th but I don't think that is very likely. I believe we will have to show them we expect them to put the country first and I don't think we, as voters, will. And even if we did we have to elect people that have the skills to know what is right and the leadership to put the right policies in place.
Related: Taxes – Slightly or Steeply Progressive? - Taxes per Person by Country - Failed Leaders Protect Trust Fund Babies Instead of the Country